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Why Dogs Lick Their Paws and How to Stop It

Dogs occasionally lick their paws, which is rather normal behavior, but frequent paw licking could indicate a health issue. You may be able to identify the cause of your dog's paw-licking behavior and potentially even fix it at home depending on how frequently and how your dog is behaving in this manner (though, as always, the best course of action is to visit your veterinarian if you have any concerns).

dog licks paws

Why Does My Dog Lick Their Paws?

Your dog may lick and chew on its paws for a number of different reasons. The following situations and conditions can lead to this canine behavior:

  • Injury

  • Food or environmental allergies

  • separation stress or anxiety

  • Parasites

  • Dry skin

Licking a single paw could indicate an injury

Your dog may be injured if they lick their paws excessively, especially if they only lick one paw instead of both. A dog will lick the wound after getting hurt since saliva from canines has therapeutic properties.

excessive dog licking

Your dog may begin licking because they have a cut on its paw pad, a bee sting, a broken nail, or a thorn or burr caught between its toes. A hot, salted sidewalk or a rough patch of sharp gravel could also have hurt the paw.

Paw licking could be a result of food or environmental allergies

The diagnosis of allergies can be more challenging, however, paw licking due to an allergic reaction is not uncommon. Foods can generally make your dog's paws itchy, causing them to lick the spot.

A dog's licking of the paws can indicate stress or anxiety.

This typical dog behaviour may also be an indication of stress in your canine friend. Change in routine, loud noises or separation anxiety are other signs that indicate that your dog is stressed or uncomfortable.

dog paw

Similar to how your dog may be licking their paws out of boredom when a dog doesn't receive enough attention and involvement throughout the day, it may develop this obsessive habit out of pure boredom. Mental and physical stimulation is essential for a dog's quality of life.

Dogs can lick their paws due to skin issues such as dryness

Your dog's paw licking may also be brought on by dryness and other skin conditions including hot spots. If the skin isn't moisturized with a moisturizer or balm, dry paw pads can feel itchy and even crack.

dog grooming

Parasites can make your dog itch

Your dog's skin and fur may be itchy due to parasites like fleas or mange, which may cause them to lick or chew on their paws. Some of these bugs are usually visible crawling around on your dog's skin.

Excessive paw-licking prevention and treatment
  • After walks, clean and dry your dog's paws.

  • Use a balm or moisturizer.

  • Keep your pet in line with your entire daily schedule.

  • Apply Prince Skin & Coat repellant

dog paw

The Risk of a Dog Licking Paws

Controlling your dog's excessive paw licking is crucial. You must identify the source and devise a strategy to get your dog to quit licking his paws. Continuous licking can keep the paw moist and encourage the growth of bacteria or yeast in your dog's skin and fur. This could result in irritation, redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort. That would make your dog unhappy and unwell.


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